Prepare time: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Serves: 3 Persons


For Cooking The Chickpeas

  • 1 cup black chickpeas – 172 grams (kala chana or desi chana or whole bengal gram or kadala)
  • 2 cups water for soaking black chickpeas
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking

For Kerala Garam Masala

  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 to 3 thin strands of mace
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 pinches grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg powder

For Coconut Paste

  • ½ cup fresh grated coconut – tightly packed
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup water for grinding or blending coconut

Other Ingredients For Kadala Curry

  • ⅓ cup chopped shallots or pearl onions (sambar onions)
  • 1 inch ginger chopped, about 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 or 2 green chilies chopped, about 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies or serrano pepper
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder – for less spicy taste add ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder (ground black pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 to 1.25 cups water or stock in which the black chickpeas are cooked
  • salt as required

Directions For Making Kadala Curry

 Pressure Cooking Chickpeas

  1. First rinse and then soak the black chickpeas in 2 cups water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. You can also use white chickpeas instead of black chickpeas.
  2. Take the black chickpeas in a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker. Add fresh water and salt.
  3. Stir and pressure cook the chickpeas for 9 to 10 whistles or till they are tender and cooked through on medium heat.

Preparing Coconut Paste

  1. Meanwhile when the chickpeas are cooking, take the grated coconut in a grinder or blender jar. Add water and grind or blend to a smooth paste.
  2. Keep the ground coconut paste aside.

Preparing Kerala Garam Masala

  1. In a small pan, dry roast the following spices till aromatic – fennel seeds, mace strands, cinnamon, cloves and grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder. Just a light roasting. Don’t over do.
  2. In a small grinder or coffee grinder or a mortar pestle, grind or pound these five spices to a semi fine or fine powder. Keep aside.

Making Kadala Curry

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  3. Add chopped shallots. Stir and saute for a minute.
  4. Then add ginger, chopped green chilies, curry leaves and saute till the shallots turn translucent or a light brown.
  5. Then add red chili powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder and the ground kerala garam masala.
  6. If you already have kerala garam masala, then just add 1 teaspoon of it.
  7. Note that 1 teaspoon of red chili powder, makes this curry spicy. So reduce to ½ teaspoon for a less spicy curry.
  8. Stir the ground spices very well and saute for a minute on low heat.
  9. Then add the ground coconut paste.
  10. Stir and mix very well.
  11. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes on a low heat.
  12. Then add the cooked black chickpeas or kadala. Stir very well.
  13. Then add 1 to 1.25 cups water or according to the consistency you prefer. Again stir and mix very well.
  14. Season with the required amount of salt and stir kadala curry again.
  15. Let the curry come to a boil on medium heat and the gravy reduces a bit. The flavors and chickpeas should also be well blended.
  16. When the curry is done and cooked well, you will see some oil specks on the top layer of the curry.
  17. Serve Kadala Curry hot with puttu or appams or steamed rice. While serving, you can garnish with some chopped coriander leaves if you like.

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